Asia Pacific Summit Convenes in Nepal

More than 1,500 participants, including seven current heads of state and government, attended UPF’s first Asia Pacific Summit.

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Africa Summit: Honoring the Legacy of President Nelson Mandela

UPF and the Royal House of Mandela hosted the conference “Peace and Human Development in Africa” to honor the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

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IAPD Convenes Religious Leaders in New York

Nearly 300 clergy and lawmakers attended a UPF conference with the goal of overcoming division and building unity.

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UPF at World Tolerance Summit

UPF was an official supporting partner of the World Tolerance Summit, which took place in November in Dubai.

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UPF Holds Human Rights Conference in European Parliament

A UPF conference in the European Parliament on “Europe and the Future of Human Rights” brought together eminent scholars and human rights activists.

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IAPP Inaugurated in Morocco

The president of the House of Representatives inaugurated the Morocco Parliament branch of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).

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Peace Tours

Peace Tour Inaugurates UPF in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Press accounts indicate that more than 40 demonstrators were killed in Addis Ababa during protests held just two weeks before the scheduled inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation in Ethiopia. In this challenging and unstable environment, volunteers began the publicity campaign for the UPF inauguration in Ethiopia. Certainly, this was one country where peace was needed.

In this challenging and unstable environment, volunteers began the publicity campaign for the UPF inauguration in Ethiopia. Many times it appeared impossible to hold such an event currently in Addis Ababa. One embassy official who received an invitation advised organizers to cancel the event, since the government had warned its own citizens not to travel to Ethiopia.

The meeting was scheduled to be held in the United Nations conference center, in a meeting room with the full grandeur of the UN General Assembly. With the venue secured, volunteer teams rushed around the city in taxis to deliver invitations to officials and key leaders. One volunteer was Yuko Berberich, who came to Ethiopia nine years earlier. She learned Amharic, the language of Ethiopia and mastered Ethiopian traditional dance, becoming well known for her performances.

Fortunately, the political situation in Addis Ababa stabilized, and the hall was filled to capacity, with more than 800 guests in attendance at this historic event.

Ethiopian music and dance performed, and Master of Ceremonies Mr. Fikremarkos Desta spoke in English and Amharic, and simultaneous translation was provided.

Ambassador for Peace, the Honorable Dr. Negaso Gedada, the former President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, delivered insightful comments, pointing out that lasting peace can never be achieved through coercive force, but only through true love. His timely remarks were enthusiastically received by the audience, as he endorsed the founding the Universal Peace Federation.

Dr. Thomas Walsh, Secretary General of UPF, who first invited couples to join in a World Peace Blessing toast of marriage rededication, presented the peace message on behalf of Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

Mr. Jim Flynn, Secretary General of UPF-USA and special advisor to the Ethiopian chapter, provided a brief overview of the Ambassadors for Peace initiative; then 26 outstanding leaders were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace, including Abebech Gobena, who has been called “Africa’s Mother Theresa” for her work in giving life and hope to thousands of Ethiopian children.

The final commentary was given by Ambassador for Peace Mr. Mamo Widneh, a noted Ethiopian journalist and author. He emphasized the significance of inaugurating the Universal Peace Federation in Ethiopia, as it is the home of the African Union and a center point among African nations. He exhorted all in attendance to dedicate themselves to the critical work for peace.

Ethiopia is a key nation, located in the “horn” of Africa. Its capital, Addis Ababa, is headquarters for the African Union, and the site of a major United Nations facility.

Ethiopia has a rich spiritual heritage, with roots going back to the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The lineage of Ethiopia's royal family can be traced back more than 200 generations to King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Ethiopia is also one of 16nations that sent troops to the UN Peace Forces during the Korean War.

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world (at least 2,000 years old). Yet its recent history has been marked by severe political, social, and humanitarian problems. Elections held earlier this year resulted in serious disputes and demonstrations that turned violent.

To read the inaugural peace message, click here.
To download a report booklet of the UPF Founders' 2005 World Peace Tour, click here.

Chapter Reports View All Chapters

UPF-Albania Nears Completion of Peace Council Goal

Tirana, Albania—UPF-Albania is proud to announce that UPF Local Peace Councils have been established in 58 of the nation’s 61 municipalities.

Prague Gathering Explores Future of Human Rights

Prague, Czech Republic—In recognition of Human Rights Day, UPF held a conference titled “Europe and the Future of Human Rights.”

RYS-Sri Lanka Trains Future Leaders

Colombo, Sri Lanka—Ten people participated in a program to train them to become assistant trainers for future Religious Youth Service (RYS) projects.